When you think of Thaddeus Young there are the two things that come to mind, 6’5.75 and $35,521,738?  They should, because that is his how tall he is without shoes, and how much he is owed the next 4 seasons (year 4 is a $9.72 mil player option).  

If the Sixers front office truly had a plan, Iguodala would have been traded this past off-season or at the trade deadline.  Reason being, the front office and fans would have a full season or half a season to evaluate Thaddeus at SF.  Instead, the 76ers still have Iguodala, whose trade value is hugely diminished (has an early termination option after this season and the 7-6 has to trade him now or risk losing him to free agency) and drafted Maurice Harkless as the heir apparent at SF.

If we want to say Thaddeus is a PF, it makes sense to compare him to Paul Millsap, Kenneth Faried, Trevor Booker and Brandon Bass.  Each measured between 6’6 and 6’6.25 without shoes according to draft combine numbers.  Thad measured 6’5.75 without shoes.  After the jump a close look at how all these players match-up.

Here are the players draft combine numbers:


  VERT (inchs)   Lane Agility (secs)   3/4 Court Sprint (secs)   Bench (185 lbs.)   Weight
Thad 37   11.06   3.19   13x   210
Booker 36   11.15   3.1   22x   236
Faried 35   11.35   3.24   16x   225
Bass 35   11.61   3.26   18x   246
Millsap 32.5   11.67   3.3   15x   258

Two things stand out, Trevor Booker is a beast and Thaddeus sure measures like a SF

Production is what we need to look at next.  We will look at Thaddeus (23), Faried (22) and Booker (24) for their 2011-2012 production.  Bass and Millsap will have their numbers from 08-09 when they were both 23 years old.

                    MPG     Total Minutes
Thaddeus      27.9         1755
Millsap         30.1        2290
Faried           22.5         1037
Bass             19.4         1574
Booker         25.2          1261

All the stats will be based off per 36 minute numbers.

  Points (Per 36)   TS%   Rebs   Blks   Ast : TO Ratio (per gm, not per 36)
Thad 16.6   0.538   6.7   0.8   1.35 : 1
Faried 16.4   0.618   12.2   1.6   .66 : 1
Millsap 16.2   0.576   10.3   1.1   1.07 : 1
Bass 15.7   0.571   8.4   1.3   .5 : 1
Booker 12   0.549   9.3   1.2   .69 : 1


Thaddeus took up the most offense and was the least efficient scorer but is obviously the best ball handler among this group.  Thaddeus blocks shots like he is Karl Malone, it’s not a compliment.  Booker had the exact same rebound total as Thaddeus in 494 less minutes.  Everything points to Thaddeus Young being a SF.

Okay, so this group was cherry picked from a productive group of PFs of the same height and age.  There is still reason to doubt that Thaddeus can play SF.  The fairest thing to do is ask Rudy Gay (who seems to be a favorite trade target for Iguodala) what he thinks of Thaddeus Young as they may soon be teammates.  Rudy Gay was unavailable for comment but his statistics were ready and willing to give answers to all the pertinent questions in comparing the 2 players career numbers.

Here are their measurements from their Draft Combines

6’5.75 w/o shoes, 37 inches vert, 11.06 lane agility, 3.19 3/4 sprint, 13x 185lb bench

6.7 without shoes, 40.5 inch vert, 11.03 lanes agility, 3.32 3/4 sprint, 9x 185 lb bench

The 2nd thing that came up was $53,500,000 (Gay) and $26,000,000 (Thad) over the next 3 seasons.  Since your salary really should be factored into production (more salary for you, less for teammates), it becomes obvious right away Rudy Gay would need to be 2x the player Thaddeus is to justify having Gay > Thaddeus as a SF (point of note: Lebron is owed just under 58 mil the next 3 years).

Offensively, it is widely presumed that Rudy Gay is some great offensive player who scores alot.  Let’s look at the metrics to see if that is true.  Usage describes how much of a team’s offense that a player uses up.  In their careers, Rudy Gay is at 23.9% and Thad Young is at 20.7%.  What that means comparatively, is Thaddeus uses 87 possessions for every 100 Rudy possessions.  In those possessions many things can happen.  Looking at 2pt field goal attempts,  48.3% of Rudy Gays 2pt shots go in the hoop, Thad Young shoots at 52.5%.  In 08-09 and 09-10, Thaddeus took 300+ 3pt shots and hit at .344%(.337 career, 45 3pt attempts total the other 3 years), Gay is a career .347% 3pt shooter, over a much more significant sample.  Once free throws are added into the equation, you come up with a True Shooting %.  Thad Young comes out at .548% and Rudy Gay at .531%.  Per 48 minutes, scoring numbers Thad 21.4 pts and Rudy Gay 23.8 points.

Assist : Turnover Ratio is nearly identical .86 :1 for Thad and .85:1 for Gay. Same for foul rate, Thad 1 foul per 14.1 minutes and Gay 1 foul per 14.2 minutes.  In regards to steals and blocks: 3% of defensive possessions end up in Thad getting a steal or block, for Rudy Gay it is 3.8%.  The advantage in these categories goes slightly to Gay.  It’s difficult to predict how Thad would produce against only SF, but it is likely he would stay near the same averages and any changes would be minimal

Rebounding numbers look similar, but they are deceiving.  Per 36 minutes, Gay grabs 5.7 rebounds and Thaddeus Young 6.4 rebounds. That seems pretty close.  If you look at it from this perspective, in 5600 less minutes, Thad Young has more career offensive rebounds that Rudy Gay, which is quite significant.  The voracious offensive rebounder is always more valuable than the defensive rebounder because so many defensive rebounds are essentially “empty rebounds”.  The rebound numbers are close, but the rebound value is greatly in Thad’s favor.

In conclusion, Thad scores a bit less per minute albeit more efficiently.  Assist, Turnover and Foul Rate are pretty much a dead heat. Gay creates more havoc on defense while Thad Young more than makes up for it by destroying Gay’s numbers on the offensive glass.  

The argument could certainly be made that with an increase in minutes Thad would be less efficient scoring, assist at a lower rate, and have an increase in TO+Foul rate.  Last but certainly not least, take all the above stats into consideration and remember that Rudy Gay is paid twice what Thaddeus Young will make in the next 3 years. 

Looking at these numbers, its apparent that Thaddeus Young is a SF.

Now we get to the Thaddeus conundrum.  He plays with the 3rd best SF in basketball (Andre Iguodala) and now Maurice Harkless, a pure SF (with a shaky stroke) who was just drafted with the 15th pick.  Something needs to be done, if the Sixers front office is really making a “youth movement”.  The move that makes the most sense is actually trade Thad, he has value right now.  Much more than Dre who is a lock, to exercise his Early Termination Option after the upcoming season (The 76ers best hope for getting something for Iguodala is a package of Iggy+Holiday for Westbrook, which cant be done until January 15).

There are trade scenarios where the Sixers can get back immediate talent or load up for the future:

Possible trade scenarios are just for discussion purpose:

Thaddeus + Moultrie for Josh Smith

The PF issue would be solved, the team will be in a dogfight all year withMilwaukeeandWashingtonto makes the playoffs as opposed to being outright terrible and have tons of cap space in 2013

Thaddeus + 3 million cash for Xavier Henry + NO 2013 1st round pick.

This trade would create a 5.5+ million trade exception for Philadelphia and give us 2 lottery picks and a ton of cap room in 2013

Thaddeus +  Hawes + Holiday + Lavoy for Bynum.

A top 15 player for those four guys, yes please.

Thaddeus for Andris Biedrins

Biedrins is owed $18,000,000 (9,9) the next 2 seasons, he also has an 2013 Early Termination Option.  Biedrins has had confidence and injury issues the last few years. He is also 26 and put up a 3 year stretch averaging 29mpg, 10.5pts (fg% 60), 10 rebounds (3.3 oreb) 1.5 blks, .85 steals per game. During that stretch from 06-07 to 08-09 he was one of the 30 best players in the NBA.





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